4:04am and through my window-wall
twelve lights bleat. They’re not for me
but for insomniacs who walk
not watch T.V.
I stare at the silent chatter
as a dead cat stares at a fly.
A woman sleeps on her back to whose
shallow breaths I would reply, but,
the refrigerator hums the requiem for flies.
Sipping a cup of water with lime —
it kills the odor of chlorine —
I watch an insomniac walk between
those bleats of light.
I bite the lime,
to end my wake in the cathode beam.
The fly still buzzes
the dead cat’s eyes.
The refrigerator hums the requiem for flies.
This is likely the oldest piece reprinted here. I’d say the original work dates to October/November 1988. This hasn’t been revised at all.
I don’t know the person who wrote this anymore. I’m not him, thankfully.
Early work like this and Paralysis served as therapy during a very lonely time in my life. I’m uncomfortable with remembering these times no less sharing them, but these pieces were important to me then, I performed them in front of audiences, submitted them to workshops, etc.
If I could do so then, I should be able to do so now. The signature image from this piece comes from my childhood. At around 8 or 9, I had a cat who got very ill, and when I came home he wasn’t in the box we’d prepared for him.
My grandfather told me he was outside in the yard and let me run outside to come upon my cat, dead and bloated, being picked at by flies. Yeah, he was a real sweetheart.